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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2016 December;52(6):774-81

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Effect of kinesiology taping on hemiplegic shoulder pain and functional outcomes in subacute stroke patients: a randomized controlled study

Yu C. HUANG 1, Chau P. LEONG 1, Lin WANG 2, Lin Y. WANG 1, Yu C. YANG 1, Chien Y. CHUANG 1, Yi J. HSIN 1

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 2 Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan


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BACKGROUND: Hemiplegic shoulder pain (HSP) impedes functional motor recovery of the affected limbs and negatively affects quality of life and daily activities. Kinesiology taping (KT) may provide improvement in hemiplegic shoulder pain and upper extremity function after an acute stroke.
AIM: To assess the impact of KT on HSP, upper extremity functional outcomes, and the prevention of shoulder soft tissue injury in subacute stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulders during rehabilitation.
DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind controlled trial.
SETTING: Rehabilitation unit at a single medical center.
POPULATION: Forty-four subacute stroke patients with hemiplegia.
METHODS: Forty-four subacute stroke patients with hemiplegia participated in this study and were randomly allocated to the control group (sham KT) or experimental group (therapeutic KT). In the experimental group, a 3-week therapeutic KT with conventional inpatient rehabilitation was applied for 5 days per week. In the control group, the patients received a 3-week sham KT with conventional inpatient rehabilitation for 5 days per week. Shoulder subluxation, spasticity, hemiplegic shoulder pain, the Fugl-Meyer Assessment for Upper Extremity (FMA-UE), modified Barthel Index (MI), Stroke-Specific Quality of Life (SSQOL) scale, and shoulder sonography were measured before and after treatment.
RESULTS: Pain-free flexion was significantly increased in hemiplegic shoulders after therapeutic KT. From 16 (70%) to 20 (87%) patients in the control and from 12 (57%) to 12 (57%) in the experimental groups had HSP after intervention, and a significant difference in the occurrence of HSP was found between these groups after treatment (P<0.05). Significant improvements (P<0.05) were noted in the FMA-UE, modified BI, and SSQOL scales after treatment in both groups. No significant differences between the groups were seen on shoulder sonography (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Therapeutic KT may limit the development of HSP and improve shoulder flexion in subacute stroke patients with flaccid shoulders during inpatient rehabilitation. For subacute stroke patients with hemiplegia, therapeutic KT may not provide improvements in the upper extremity function, daily activity, and quality of life over sham KT during conventional inpatient rehabilitation.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Kinesiology taping may provide positive effects on shoulder flexion and decrease the occurrence of HSP in subacute stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulders during conventional inpatient rehabilitation.


KEY WORDS: Stroke - Hemiplegia - Applied kinesiology - Athletic tape - Rehabilitation

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